“Follow the money” was Deep Throat’s advice to Woodward and Bernstein as they investigated the Watergate break-in, and it has also been the watchword for people trying to figure out who is funding a politician or a nonprofit.
At the Center for Northern Woodlands Education, we do regular, ongoing financial analysis of our operations, and in the midst of this economic slowdown, we pay even closer attention. We thought our readers would be interested to know where our funding comes from, and, since our fiscal year has recently ended, we have good, up-to-date information we can share.
Who doesn’t love a good pie chart? The accompanying chart gives the big picture of where our revenues came from this past year. Despite the challenges, we’re pleased to be able to report a successful year. The percentages shown are all based on our total revenues of $554,000, which is within the range of our revenues for the last few years. On the strength of that, we have been able to increase our cash reserves over the past 12 months.
As can be expected, because our advertisers are suffering, our advertising income has fallen off some this past year. Two years ago, advertising was 22 percent of our total revenue; this year, it dropped to 18 percent. As you read through this edition of Northern Woodlands, take special note of our advertisers, each one making the commitment to maintain their presence in front of our 15,000 readers. We thank them for having the confidence to keep advertising in tough times and for supporting our work.
What I find most remarkable about the chart – and well worth trumpeting – is how much of our funding comes from individuals. If you combine subscriptions with individual contributions (those are donations on top of the cost of the subscription), that accounts for 60 percent of our budget. That is truly impressive. So when you follow the money that funds our efforts, the trail leads to you, our readers.
On page 68, we list all of those generous individuals, businesses, government agencies, and foundations who have supported our efforts this year. Thank you for helping us continue to do this important work.
Let me close with another word of thanks, this one to Charlie Levesque, who has just completed his term on our board. Charlie served as board president for the last four years, a crucial time for us in our short history as a nonprofit. He was the right man at the right time, bringing to the organization a focus and a discipline that has served us well and ensured that we are on the right track.
Succeeding Charlie as president is Julia Emlen, of Seekonk, Massachusetts. We are grateful to her for taking on this important role. We are also pleased to welcome two new members of the board, Tom Ciardelli of Hanover, New Hampshire, and Timothy Fritzinger of Essex, Massachusetts.